Monday, 3 June 2013

Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood

By Lina Hernández Valencia (undergraduate FIGRI student)

Each time I hear the word Africa I sadly make an association with safari and famine. Although hardly anyone associates it with an economic power, some might name Nigeria as a powerful film producer. Nigeria is the largest country in Africa with a population of 160 million, the number one economic power of this continent and one of the world’s eight biggest oil producers.

When I first read that Nollywood was rated as the third movie producer with more films per year after U.S.A (Hollywood) and India (Bollywood) I was surprised and shocked. I searched for some info on the  internet and I realized that the complete success of this industry is due to their low budgets and the short time it takes to produce these films, which can take, for example, just 10 days and cost approximately USD$15,000. The main difference between the California/New Delhi productions and Nigerian films is how they are presented to the audience. Thanks to their lack of monetary resources, in Africa, movies are not presented in theaters; they are sold on vcd or dvd which sell an average of 50,000 copies or even more.

Nollywood has become a powerful $250 million dollar industry that employs more than one million people in Africa. The competition with Hollywood has arisen because many Africans were tired of watching how Americans had created a stereotype that associates them with violence, poverty and drugs. I watched some trailers from Nollywood and I was amazed by the new  concept of movie producing these people have. These films are made in real locations, with no special effects, and they are based on real stories and are a complete mirror of African reality.

Nigerian films have broken boundaries around the world as they have been presented in international festivals since 2005, and 44% of the products are translated to English. South Africa opened satellite television networks to present them, and there is also the Africa Movie Awards to reward the best in the industry that try to give us an example of how Hollywood has made society believe there is just one way to make movies

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